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Vipassana meditation enhances REM sleep

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:54 am
by Samwise
...and this in turn, increases the nightly window with in which one can become lucid, while also increasing dream recall.

A few nights ago, I performed a little breath awareness meditation lying in bed before sleep...this induced what seemed to be a focus 10 state, and my dream recall that night was the best it has been in a long time. This has prompted me to make pre sleep meditation a regular thing. It seems like there is some solid science to back up Vipassana style meditation (as well as Zazen which is similar in essence) for its effect on dream recall and increasing likelihood of lucidity.

How have others here noticed meditation practice affecting their dream life and likelihood of experienced lucid dreams or projections??

Assuming many here meditate already, but a technique is outlined here for anybody interested. I think you could skip part 1 of this and still get good results, worth experimenting with...if you fall asleep too quickly, listening to some binaural or isochronic tones can help.

http://www.c4chaos.com/2009/03/open-pra ... ream-vild/

Sulekha, S., Thennarasu, K., Vedamurthachar, A., Raju, R.R. & Kutty, B.M. (2006) Evaluation of sleep architecture in practitioners of Sudarshan Kriya yoga and Vipassana meditation. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 4, 207-214

Link to paper here:

http://transformationalchange.pbworks.c ... 0233.x.pdf

Abstract

Yoga is an ancient Indian science and way of life that has been described in the traditional texts as a systematic method of achieving the highest possible functional harmony between body and mind. Yogic practices are claimed to enhance the quality of sleep. Electrophysiological correlates associated with the higher states of consciousness have been reported in long-term practitioners of transcendental meditation during deep sleep states. The present study was carried out to assess sleep architecture in Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) and Vipassana meditators. This was to ascertain the differences, if any, in sleep architecture following yogic practices. Whole night polysomnographic recordings were carried out in 78 healthy male subjects belonging to control and yoga groups. The groups studied were aged between 20 and 30-years-old (younger) and 31 to 55-years-old (middle-aged). The sleep architecture was comparable among the younger control and yoga groups. While slow wave sleep (non-REM (rapid eye movement) S3 and S4) had reduced to 3.7 percent in the middle- aged control group, participants of the middle-aged yoga groups (both SKY and Vipassana) showed no such decline in slow wave sleep states, which was experienced by 11.76 and 12.76 percent, respectively, of the SKY and Vipassana groups. However, Vipassana practitioners showed a significant enhancement (P<0.001) in their REM sleep state from that of the age-matched control subjects and also from their SKY counterparts. Yoga practices help to retain slow wave sleep and enhance the REM sleep state in the middle age; they appear to retain a younger biological age as far as sleep is concerned. Overall, the study demonstrates the possible beneficial role of yoga in sleep–wakefulness behavior.

Discussion

Vipassana meditators showed a pronounced enhancement in their REM sleep state, while the SKY group did not show such an enhanced REM sleep state. However, both Vipassana and SKY practitioners exhibited a relatively shorter interval to the occurrence of their first REM sleep episode, that is, they had a very short REM onset latency. The REM density (measure of frequency of REMs) is an index of sleep satiety or sleep need and increased REM density accompanies prolonged periods of sleep. Extended sleep periods and a systematic reduction in the duration of prior wakefulness leads to increased REM, and sleep deprivation reduces the REM density. The enhanced REM duration observed in the Vipassana practitioners could be an index of heightened orientation and inner alertness associated with enhanced brain activity during REM. Mason et al. have also reported such enhanced REM sleep states in long-term practitioners of transcendental meditation. Growing evidence suggests that the circadian rhythm of melatonin contributes to the endogenous circadian rhythm of sleep propensity in humans and the practice of meditation in general has shown to enhance melatonin secretion.